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“Too expensive for what it is.”
Review of Villa d'Este

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Villa d'Este
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Cernobbio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 April 2010

I decided to write a review of this hotel though I’ve been there in September 2007. I really wanted to share publicly my opinion about the hotel as it is so famous around the world and making people dream of staying there once in their lives. Some people who reported bad experience believe that they were just unlucky and I’d like to say that no, it’s part of the hotels package.
We had a nice Junior Suite at 1000 EU/night. It had a nice huge bathroom with stunning view. Downside of the room was: a tiny miserable TV set and a wooden bed with protruding edges where I constantly hit myself.
I’m surprised that people rave about the lake swimming pool because in early September it was already impossible to use and icy (reported 25°C). Spa and pool were frequented by locals who had a subscription so it’s not a quiet place and women chat loudly and yell in Italian in the dressing rooms. I was not happy with the inside pool: it was uninviting and cold. I complained and was told it was 29°C but I can recognize a cold pool when I’m in one. In Europe most of the time hotels have pools but when you try them, they are cold (so it’s like if they had no pool but they have one to justify their stars and prices).
The gastronomic restaurant is of high quality for a high price. As we have a small dog traveling with us we were not allowed inside the restaurant and they were not ashamed to put us out on the terrace for breakfast one morning when it was terribly windy. So since it turned into a nightmare we decided to split and my dad had to go back to the room with the dog and wait until the my mom and I had finished.
The dog was allowed on the terrace of the gastronomic restaurant for lunch. But the cheaper restaurant which is just beside refused us. I asked why since they were both outside and side by side. The waiter had no explanation but said the dog was allowed on the terrace of the expensive one but not on the cheap one. So we ate at the gastronomic for the whole stay. Talk about rip off.
They also had a sushi restaurant, but upon arrival the desk employee who showed us to the room and explained the hotel, didn’t tell us that we had to make prior reservation. So, one evening we went there with one of my parents. The restaurant was tinny (like just 2 tables). The waiter said there was no room for us as we had not made any reservation. I really regret that I didn’t raise my voice and declared that if they didn’t have a table to accommodate us, I requested that they brought our sushis to the room since when I’m paying 1000EU for a night I shouldn't hear the word: NO.
I just turned away but I was very angry and never went back there. It spoiled my whole evening.
So all in all, the hotel is nice, the view is gorgeous. My dog loved the park which is the best part of it. The employees are not very nice (but that’s somehow recurring in Italy). My mom also noticed the dirty shoes some had with their hotel uniform (as shoes are usually not provided by the hotels but the employees own). I really believe that I paid too much for what it was. This is why I usually avoid Italy. There is also nothing to do around when you go out of the hotel. In the evening hotel is deserted and there's nothing to do except watch TV. As we had a rented car we wanted to tour the lake but the locals just drive like crazy and keep pushing and passing you because it’s not fast enough for them. Going to the Cernobbio village with the car is a nightmare, especially for parking. Como city is nothing extraordinary.
And most of all, what I would like to tell the management of this hotel is that when customers pay at least 1000EU per night for a room, they should never hear the word “no” coming out of any of your employees mouth, there should always be some alternate accommodating solution, otherwise don’t believe you’re the best hotel in the world.
After we left they kept sending us Christmas greetings but they never saw us again.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank lipi5star
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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821 - 827 of 1,377 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2010

This hotel has an exceptional location and very nice park on the shores of the lake. Rooms are nice and clean. Staff is friendly and helpful. Prices of accomodation, restaurants and drinks are however steep. Very nice place for a special occasion.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank FrenchLondon26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2010

We stayed here for 1 night in a Double Executive room last September. While the hotel & grounds are indisputably beautiful, & the service overall is professional, I couldn't say that I loved it. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, but I found the experience lacking.

The hotel is comprised of multiple classically designed buildings facing a stunning bay, which makes the property feel very private. There is a big gorgeous floating pool extending into the water, surrounded by plentiful deck chairs on upper & lower levels. This is a great place to spend the day. There is wi-fi coverage as well. Our room, located in a quiet, elegant building apart from the main hotel, was beautiful - very spacious, elegantly designed, well lit with french windows opening onto a lovely private patio, with a large bathroom including a big jacuzzi bathtub, a big walk-in closet & a well-stocked mini-bar. The only problem was that the wi-fi coverage doesn't really work here, & the cable connection in the room didn't work properly either.

The service was overall quite professional, but a bit cold & definitely inconsistent. Some members of staff were just terrific, while others were not. For example, the driver who took us to a hot local restaurant we had booked spoke to the manager to make sure we got a good table, completely unasked. The staff member who came to try to repair the cable connection was fantastic. But the waiters at breakfast were aloof & cleared our table before we had finished. When we ate at the outdoor pool restaurant for lunch - the food was just ok - we ordered off the menu & the waiter accommodated us, with some hesitation (surprisingly, especially for a simple request). However, what he did next was unbelievable. When our seafood pasta arrived, he wagged his our finger at us & said "no cheese". First of all, we never have grated cheese on seafood pasta - it's not the custom, as we know. Second of all, if a guest does want to have cheese on his seafood pasta, I think he should be indulged without being patronized to by the waiter, especially at $1,000 per night! On another occasion, I literally had to order a member of front desk staff to send someone to repair the cable connection in our room, after she insisted on arguing with me that I must be doing something wrong with my laptop, as of course the connection works....

In sum, our experience was lacking, but maybe we were just unlucky.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank IPGHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2010

everything was pure lust and luxury...the view, the people...bold and beautiful!

Stayed: June 2007, travelled with friends
Thank Margarida1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2010

We had very high expectations and were not disappointed. The hotel is in a privileged location by the lake and has stunning grounds. Service is top notch. Breakfast buffet was excellent. Floating pool is great and they also have a kiddie pool (which we used for our toddler). Would love to go back...

Stayed: July 2009, travelled with family
Thank sancrispino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2010

Villa d’Este is a renown five star resort in Chernobbio, on lake Como.

The main villa was built in 16th century by a Catholic Cardinal, who acquired the land from a monastic order, whose monastery still stands in the gardens. Since then the ownership passed between several renowned aristocratic families including the Pino spouses, Caroline of Brunswick, and it was briefly rented by a Russian empress.

The villa was reconstructed several times and therefore boasts the finest art and architecture from the five centuries of Italian history. Its considerable gardens are also a work of art, comprising many unique landscape patterns and over five centuries’ old trees.

On the hill side overlooking the lake there are what appear to be the ruins of an ancient fortress. Yet these were artificially constructed in 19th century as a gift to General Domenico Pino, famous for his role in Spanish and Russian campaigns during Napoleonic Wars, to represent the scenery he was fighting on.

The hotel actually comprises several villas, with two major buildings that house most guest rooms and a few smaller dwellings to be rented as private villas.

All rooms are designed distinctly from one another. Most are decorated with antique furniture and valuable art. And of course many offer the magnificent views over the lake. Most standard rooms are relatively small, but those of the junior suite type and beyond possess the true aristocratic grandeur.

The main restaurant offers traditional Italian delicacies, prepared to among the best standards in north Italy, and indeed in the world. Their head chef used to cook for Pope John Paul II. Indeed, in my experience their risottos were probably the best I ever tried.

Such magnificent historic appeal and the modern luxury are combined in an extraordinarily pleasant setting on lake Como. For these reasons, Villa d’Este became a favourite of many rich and famous individuals.

This sophistication comes at a price, and a rather considerable one. The junior suite would set you back about a 1000 Euros a day in high season. Nevertheless, a few days vacation here is probably worth the money. And if can’t afford the stay, it’s still worth visiting the outstanding restaurant, which will also permit exploring the brilliant territory of the villa.

  • Stayed: June 2008
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1  Thank constantino3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2010

Amazing expereince. Exceptional property, staff and environment. The floating pool, borrowed boat to travel to Belagio. It simply can't be better than this. We love to travel, and enjoy the best of the best. This is one of the few places in the world which we plan to return. If you can do this, try to pull off a visit here, as it will be an effort in creating a memory of a lifetime.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank MJHanold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa d'Este

Address: Via Regina 40, 22012 Cernobbio, Italy
Region: Italy > Lombardy > Lake Como > Cernobbio
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Cernobbio
Price Range: £493 - £809 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Villa d'Este 5*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the splendor, the grandeur, the intrigue and the magic of Villa d'Este- an opulent hotel overlooking glorious Lake Como. Hailed as one of the best hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes Traveler, this famous resort destination has been widely praised for its beautiful gardens, exquisite cuisine, gala celebrations, impeccable décor and extraordinary hospitality. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa d`Este Hotel Cernobbio
Hotel d Este
d Este Hotel Cernobbio
Villa Deste Lake Como
Villa D'Este Lake Como/Cernobbio, Italy

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